So here it is September, and North Carolina coach Roy Williams has offered scholarships to not one, but two, junior guards in the Garden State: Dexter Strickland of St. Patrick (left) and Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony.
Strickland is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2009 by Scout, while Cheek is right behind at No. 10.
Can the Heels take both? What are the odds they get either?
The 6-3 Strickland, who will take over for Corey Fisher as the lead guard at two-time Tournament of Champions winner St. Patrick, blew up this summer at the Steve Nash and LeBron James Nike Skills Academies.
"I love him," Don Showalter, chair of the USA Men's Basketball Junior Development Committee, said at LeBron in July. "I've seen him quite a bit. He was at our USA (Basketball Youth) Festival two weeks ago and I thought he was probably one of the better point guards there. He can go as far as he wants to go, and he's so coachable. He'll take what he gets here this week and get better at it."
Strickland listed Michigan State, North Carolina and Florida as his top three, and it looks like Michigan State is still the favorite at this point. Dexter's mom, Sheronne, told us in July that Tom Izzo's staff had developed a great rapport with the family.
Still, Strickland said North Carolina was a type of "dream school."
"That's everybody's dream school, North Carolina, Duke, that kind of thing," Strickland said last month at the Boost Mobile event in Manhattan.
Strickland is a high character kid who gets great family support. His mother and various uncles come to all of his events, and several family members even made the drive out to Akron, Ohio for the LeBron camp.
Cheek told ZAGSBLOG the other day that UNC was his dream school after Coach Williams came up on Monday to personally offer him a scholarship through Hurley.
"I was very excited," Cheek said. "I would never expect a school like North Carolina to offer me a scholarship. It's my dream school."
Wake Forest, Villanova and Ohio State are also in the mix.
Cheek plays for the same AAU outfit, the Paterson-based Playaz Basketball Club, as UNC guard Wayne Ellington, whom we featured last spring when the Heels played Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament in New Jersey.
Cheek may visit UNC on Oct. 12 when the Heels being their season with "Late Night with Roy," and we wouldn't be shocked if he committed not too long thereafter.
A year ago, five St. Anthony players committed as juniors, and Cheek could follow suit if Hurley gives his blessing.
In the meantime, Strickland and Cheek could go head-to-head this year if the teams meet up in the Non-Public Group B state playoffs. The two programs have combined to win 24 of the 28 state titles in that bracket since 1980.
Strickland's St. Pat's team is the two-time defending Tournament of Champions winner and he is shooting for a three-peat, while Cheek and the Friars are hoping to win the first state title for any of the current seniors.